May half term in Hull will celebrate the city’s historic Whitefriargate and Old Town area with a new trail inspired by the White Rabbit from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Carroll’s family had a strong connection with Hull, with his mother being raised in the city, and the new White Rabbit Trail – running from 22 May until 8 June – will visit locations that are linked to the Carroll family and the work of Lewis Carroll.
Part of an ongoing regeneration in the Old Town and Whitefriargate, one of the city’s oldest streets, the new self-guided trail will also highlight lesser-known stories from the area, with its cobbled streets and architecture stretching back to Hull’s medieval past.
The family-themed trail offers a chance to discover the city’s connections to the world’s most famous children’s authors, and his most famous book. Lewis Carroll’s grandfather worked in the Old Town in various positions, while his grandmother, Elizabeth Anne Lutwidge, was buried at Hull Minster, formerly Holy Trinity Church.
Included in the trail is 15 Whitefriargate, part of the former Neptune Inn opened in 1797, which in the early 1800s housed Hull Customs, where Lewis Carroll’s grandfather was listed as working in 1805 as a collector of dues. A little further along, 60 Whitefriargate was home to Hull News in 1888, and artist John Tenniel, who provided sketches for the paper, was the original illustrator of the Lewis Carroll stories.
Another spot highlighted also links in with another city favourite, Hull’s Fish Trail, an unusual piece of public art featuring 41 fish pavement etchings across the city centre, all life-size, ranging from a school of 36 tiny anchovies to a 10ft ray overlooking Victoria Pier. Outside the Princes Quay Shopping Centre is the Fish Trail’s Lobster, inscribed with “Will You Walk a Little Faster” – taken from Lobster Quadrille in Alice in Wonderland.
To celebrate the city’s connection with Carroll, local primary schools were asked to design a Hull-based interpretation of the White Rabbit character, and the winning entries will be displayed on the trail along with some quirky facts about Carroll and his family.
The project has been funded by Historic England as part of Hull’s High Street Heritage Action Zone and delivered in partnership with Hull Schools’ Library Service.
For a tasty treat after completing the trail, one of Hull’s cafes also offers a chance to continue the Wonderland theme. White Rabbit Chocolatiers, an independent family business hand-making award-winning chocolate creations, has a café in Paragon Arcade – and is famed for its ‘Ultimate Hot Chocolates’, finished off with a chocolate spoon (https://whiterabbitchocolatiers.co.uk/pages/cafes).
The company, founded in the nearby medieval market town of Beverley, is named after an iconic carving of a ‘pilgrim rabbit’ at the town’s 14th century St Mary’s Church, which is said to have inspired the ‘white rabbit’ character in Carroll’s story (https://stmarysbeverley.org).
To download the new trail, visit https://bit.ly/2RhP2L0
For all other tourism information about Hull, see www.visithull.org